Despite the recent rise of the online estate agent, we think there are many reasons why you’d want to stick with the high street. Here’s just a few…
“You’ll save thousands of pounds with an online agent!”
A huge exaggeration – most match their price against a proposed high street fee of 1.5%.
We’ll never charge that much. We’re much more inclined to agree a set fee with you that’s significantly below what they claim.
“There’s no hidden or extra costs!”
Online agents often charge for things you’d expect to be part of the service, e.g. “For Sale” boards, photography, accompanied viewings, energy performance certificates and floor plans, all of which are fully included in our fee (subject to terms and conditions).
“There’s only a small fee to pay up front!”
Many online agents may request full or partial payment up front – often non-returnable if they fail to sell or if your chain falls through. If you don’t pay anything up front, you may have to pay a larger sum upon completion.
We’ll work upon a no-sale-no-fee basis, so we’ll never ask for payment up front, and because we get paid from your sale proceeds, we won’t be taking much-needed cash out of your pocket from the outset.
“You’ll get fantastic customer service!”
You may have to pay for a “premium” package to get a designated account manager, or your case is likely to be dealt with in a call-centre style environment, and you’ll be lucky to speak to the same person twice.
We’ll give you a dedicated team member who’s on hand at all times, and will expertly manage your sale from start to finish.
“We’ll manage your sale right through to completion.”
In our experience, online agents don’t tend to be very good at the legal bit, mainly due to lack of communication, but as they’ve already been paid up front, why should they care?
By contrast, our in-house legal expertise means we can deal proficiently with all the solicitors involved so you don’t have to and we’ll provide you with frequent updates. In addition, as we don’t receive our fee until your sale completes, we have a genuine interest in it completing as efficiently and as successfully as possible.
“You’ll receive a visit from our local property expert!”
Your “local expert” is likely to live many miles away (one leading online agent has a single person covering all of Surrey & Sussex), so they almost certainly won’t have a deep knowledge of the local market in the same way as an established High Street agent.
Our team, by contrast, all grew up, live and work in the area, so we’re perfectly placed to give you the best local advice.
“We’ll find your perfect buyer!”
Online agents are really only advertising your property online for you. They’re unlikely to be searching for buyers in the same way as a High Street agent, and very few buyers will think to register their search with an online agent.
We, however, have an active database of thousands of potential buyers, and we’ll be phoning, texting and emailing them within hours of your instruction.
“Most of our business is done when regular high street agents are closed!”
We presume this claim refers to the fact that they conducting their business online 24/7, but because of online property portals your property can be viewed online at any time anyway, irrespective of whether you’re selling through an online agent or not. Otherwise, almost all of the important parts – the valuations, the viewings, the negotiations, and the conveyancing – still only take place during regular office hours. And anyway, most agents are always prepared to conduct viewings or negotiations out of hours on your behalf in any event!
So as you can see, there’s a lot to be aware of when considering an online agent, and it’s never as straightforward as you might think.
That’s why we think it’s a smart move sticking with the high street.